Vehicles are not safe to travel through the Rotherhithe Tunnel if they are:

  • More than 2 metres (6.5 feet) high OR
  • More than 2 metres (6.5 feet) wide OR
  • Goods vehicles weighing more than 2 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW)

Drivers of these vehicles could be fined up to £160 for every journey they make through the tunnel.

The Rotherhithe Tunnel was built in 1908 and was not designed to cope with modern levels of traffic. These restrictions help to ensure that road users can continue to use the tunnel safely while we work on plans for the tunnel's future.

We brought in the restrictions after a detailed analysis of the ventilation system which would extract smoke and other dangerous fumes from the tunnel in case of a fire.

Alternative crossings

Drivers of vehicles that do not meet these restrictions should use Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, both of which are outside the Congestion Charging zone, but inside the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). The ULEZ now covers all areas within, but not including, the North Circular (A406) and South Circular (A205) roads.

Check your vehicle to see if you are affected.

When Tower Bridge is closed for overnight maintenance, Southwark Bridge can be used. Currently, the Congestion Charge does not apply during the hours that Tower Bridge is closed overnight. The ULEZ operates at all times except Christmas Day (25 December).

Weight restriction

Goods vehicles can't use Rotherhithe Tunnel if they have a GVW of more than 2 tonnes.

GVW is the maximum weight that the vehicle is legally permitted to be loaded to. It is also called the Maximum Authorised Mass (MAM) or permissible maximum weight.

To find your vehicle's GVW you can check:

  • The revenue weight listed on the vehicle's log book (V5C)
  • On the plate or sticker fitted to the vehicle
  • With the vehicle's manufacturer

If you've received a penalty

Customers that receive a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) can, if they want, challenge it (also known as 'making a representation') on the Challenge a Penalty Charge notice page.